Using his “9 Golden Rules” of infidelity, Rossi teaches women how to successfully cheat on their significant others.

Forget the image of the cheating playboy—or playgirl, in this case—as a good-time Charlene running around on her man and having the time of her life. According to Rossi, cheating—“not an ‘if’ but a ‘when’ proposition”—is hard work, requiring iron discipline, military-caliber planning and a hefty serving of austere self-denial. The author’s self-professed sole qualification as an expert in this field is a lifetime of philandering—except, as he assures his wife in the book’s dedication to her, now that he’s happily, faithfully married. Each chapter delineates one of Rossi’s tried-and-true—from his extensive experience—strategies for getting away with straying, tenets such as “Hide the Evidence,” “Never with Someone You Know” and “Deny Everything.” The trick to a successful affair, according to the author, an aerospace project engineer, is to approach the endeavor with the same cool, logical detachment one might bring to a bank heist. Rossi tries to erase traditionally perceived gender lines by insisting that women can learn to treat sex like men do—as an itch to be scratched. But he falls into every well-trodden gender stereotype—women love chocolate, can’t keep secrets and tend to quickly develop feelings for a sexual partner, especially after 30. And though his target audience is female, under the guise of humorous asides he reveals an unsettlingly sexist view of the fairer sex—women lie, are “dead fish” and should consider “hot lesbian action” if they are toying with the idea of an affair. Rossi doesn’t attempt to apologize for his cheating strategies, such as practicing lying (“That way, you will fall out of the habit of sharing everything with [your mate] so that crucial details won’t slip out when you finally have your fling”). To the contrary, he repeatedly, and unconvincingly, makes the argument that discreet cheating can save relationships and strengthen the institution of marriage. Rossi’s treatise reduces cheating to one more tiresome but necessary chore for today’s busy, multitasking woman to check off her to-do list. Potential value as a competently written, step-by-step how-to from an apparently experienced insider, but often reads more as a gleeful tell-all from a guy who got away with it.


Pub Date: Dec. 5, 2011

ISBN: 978-0615516714

Page Count: 182

Publisher: Nima

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2012

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.


New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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